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AgScience Ambassadors: NASC partnership with CSU, Stanislaus

AgScience Ambassadors

NASC Pilot Program launched in October 2016

In the fall of 2016, the NASC received a grant from Stanislaus Community Foundation Credit Bureau to implement the pilot program AgScience Ambassadors. The goals of this program are to bring additional hands-on agricultural science education experiences to 3rd and 4th graders, create opportunities for college students to gain teaching experience and career training, and to offer science lesson enrichment in the classroom.

In partnership with CSU, Stanislaus the AgScience Ambassadors pilot program launched in 3 school districts in the Central Valley. Six CSU, Stanislaus Education students gained valuable in-classroom experience sharing the Soil Autopsy Lab experiment with eager 3rd and 4th graders. Students are taught methods of inquiry, observation and draw conclusions based on the experiments performed. They learn how soil is created, what is it is comprised of and discuss how climate and environmental factors impact soil.

In the months of October, November and December our AgScience Ambassadors visited 12 classrooms impacting 268 students. We at the NASC are very grateful for this initial grant allowing us to develop and implement the program. Omega Nu Foundation and the Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation have donated additional funding which enables the NASC to continue to bring this exciting programming into the classroom. The NASC vision is to continue to develop innovative programs like this to impact students at every step of their career path offering opportunities for a greater understanding the community they live in and the opportunities available to them in the Central Valley agricultural industry.

Ag In Motion: 5 Years of Mobile Agricultural Science Education

Ag In Motion keeps rolling

 

Bringing agricultural science to more than 100,000 students for over 5 years!

 

 

Ag In Motion (AIM) made its debut as the only mobile agricultural science laboratory in California on August 29, 2011 at Prescott Senior Elementary in Modesto. Over 400 seventh graders had hands-on science experiences that day learning about and exploring the parts of a bug’s mouth. In the first 5 weeks 2,800 students were served at over 10 schools. To date every middle school in Stanislaus County has a scheduled visit in AIM. We at the NASC are proud to have shared our innovative and unique agricultural science programming with more than 100,000 students over the past 5 years.

 

AIM was conceptualized by the NASC Board of Directors and staff in 2010 with the goal of constructing a mobile laboratory classroom to bring agricultural science to middle schools. The vision including developing lesson plans to meet middle school science standards while engaging and informing students about the many and varied careers in ag and ag related industries. Diligently they worked to bring their vision to life and the concept evolved into AIM; a 53-foot tractor trailer which was transformed into a high-tech science lab.

 

Lesson plans are shared by our engaging and skilled Mobile Lab and Curriculum Coordinator. Students enthusiastically participate in the lab experiments, complete and submit their lab notebooks for grading. Schools are able to choose their own laboratory lesson from the following options: bug mouthparts – form and function; light – photosynthesis and colors and chromatography; strawberry DNA extraction; seed disbursal and developing a dichotomous key. Teachers have praised the Ag In Motion program for its attention to detail, standards-based lessons, hands-on approach and the opportunity to expand on the lessons taught in the classroom.

 

“When are you coming back?!” “How can I do this at home?” This is the best feedback we receive from the students and we are honored that we have been asked to return to sites time and again. As our programs continue to grow and expand we look forward to reaching more counties in the Central Valley. This year we will bring AIM to a few sites in Hilmar and San Joaquin. We look forward to continuing to share innovative agricultural science with middle schools in the Central Valley!